Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Suffering of the Mind

The suffering of the mind

I am not talking about the suffering 'caused' by the mind, but the suffering
that it faces from human beings. Next to the atman and more than any other
human psyche, the mind suffers the most by the way it needs to be
suppressed, disciplined, controlled, annihilated, eradicated, etc. etc. by
various sadhanas. Some times I feel sorry for the mind itself, as it is
tortured by us-using the very same mind.

Here is another such 'mind torture' again by another spiritual teacher.
However my aim is not to question him or criticize his views or any others
who hold or follow such teachings. But the way the subject is handled
creates some questions-again, sorry to say, in my mind.

'When the mind merges totally in the Truth, it experiences the nirvikalpa
state of spontaneous bliss of uninterrupted Self-knowledge', says Avatar
Meher Baba, whose 113th birth anniversary is celebrated on February 25th,
2007. And to give a lively examples, Baba says, 'This state of union with
God is described by Jesus Christ: "I and my Father are One". (Avatar Meher
Baba, Nirvikalpa Samadhi is Knowledge of The Soul, The Speaking Tree, The
Times of India, Bangalore, February 26, 2007, p.16)

Don't ask whether Jesus meant that when he said that 'I and my Father are
One'. Well let us leave it to the biblical theologians to clarify. For us,
the question is, "Does our bhakti tradition talk about such 'mind'
discipline where 'The mind has to be annihilated through the mind itself'
(as Baba says) so that the soul 'just knows itself to be God through
effortless intuition'?"

If my understanding based on my limited reading of bhakti literature is
correct, then the most simple and final sadhana is total surrender to God
without any reservation-which is termed as 'prapatti' in Vaishnavite
tradition. Of course in this surrender whether the atman becomes 'one' with
god or 'becomes god' itself is a long theological debate in various bhakti
schools of thought. However, just taking some tips from the yoga tradition
and mixing it with bhakti and 'torturing' the mind through various processes
to 'annihilate' it, to make the Soul to 'know itself to be God' makes one to
feel sorry for the mind, as no other psyche suffers this much at the hands
of human. However, as the mind never 'minds' such teaching, it continues to
function as it is-without anyone prescribing right way to handle it.

Mathigiri, March 1, 2007

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